New Website

It has been a while since I wrote an article. We have been working hard on creating a brand new website : http://www.activelight.co.za
This year we are going to make a concerted effort to keep up to date and bring you many new developments.


Keep Moving

When Winston Churchill retired from politics he took up painting. He knew what he was going to paint, and set up his easel and organised the paints and brushes on a table in the garden.
He then sat back on his comfortable chair, trying to decide where to start.
After about two hours his wife came out with a cup of tea, and saw pristine white canvas. She asked him why he hadn’t painted anything, to which he replied that he didn’t know where to start.
So she picked up one of his brushes and painted a huge squiggle in the middle of the canvas. Churchill went ballistic. “What are you doing, you’ve ruined a perfectly good canvas.” She said, “Well now you’ll just have to fix it won’t you.”
He started to fix the mess, by scraping off the paint, and painting over it. Pretty soon he’d painted his first landscape.
What was stopping Churchill was knowing how to start, and all his wife did was take the start-point away. She gave him a problem to fix instead.
The man who could lead Britain in a world war didn’t know what to do with a blank canvas. Give him a problem to fix, a massive mess that no one else could sort out and he would fix it.
But back to reality….
But how do you start when there is no problem? People are good at fixing problems and responding – not so good at creating from nothing.
With no brief, no direction, no ideas, nothing to get hold of. There’s one thing I remember from physics lessons at school: If you have a piece of metal, and you want to magnetise it, just keep bashing it with a hammer and eventually all the molecules will line up with little North and South poles. So the whole piece of metal will have a single North and South Pole, like a magnet. Just by banging away at it, everything will arrange itself in the right direction. Just by shaking things up.
A lot of what creativity is, is shaking things up, creating things, situations, opinions for people to respond to.
Alan Parker, the film director, once gave a piece of advice.
He said, “When you’re directing a film and you can’t decide which way to go, the worst thing you can do is stop and think about it because, while you’re thinking, nothing’s happening”.
And all the crew, and the actors, the studio, the lights, the camera, everything you’ve hired, are just sitting there doing nothing : While you stop and think.
So the best thing you can do is just pick a direction and go for it. You’ll soon find out if it’s the right way to go. If it is, carry on. If it isn’t, at least you’ll know what you should be doing.
And you’ll get the answer a lot quicker than by thinking about it.”
Isn’t that great advice, whenever we’re stuck on something? Don’t sit and stare into space thinking about it, do something, anything. Get it moving, get unstuck.
As Edward de Bono says, “The purpose of thinking isn’t conclusions, it’s movement,” which is why he coined the term ‘lateral thinking’.
To challenge conventional thinking and find a way to jolt us out of our rut, to get us unstuck.
And that’s why people are often provocative.
Active Light specialises in creating movement so that people don’t have to stop and think, it just creates a reaction.

Inspiration: Dave Trott


February 2023

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